Long lines of vehicles formed outside a COVID testing site in Orlando, Florida on Sunday morning (August 8) as the Sunshine State grapples with a fresh surge in COVID-19 cases.
The U.S. South remains the epicenter of the latest outbreak, with Florida reporting a record of nearly 24,000 new cases on Saturday, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Protection.
The number of COVID patients filling the state’s hospitals has set records nearly every day for the past week.
In Jacksonville, Florida, Rev. George Davis of Impact Church tweeted he was ‘tired of crying about and burying people I love” after six of his church members died. Four of them were under the age of 35.
All were unvaccinated, Davis said in his tweet.
“One mother, who just was recently married, to celebrate her one-year wedding anniversary with a young daughter. And to now see her gone, when you really just know that was avoidable..” Davis told local media.
Florida reported a record 22,783 new COVID-19 cases on Friday (August 6), its highest single-day case count since the pandemic began, according to CDC data. The state also had 13,427 people hospitalized, breaking a record for the fifth day in a row, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services reported.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has strongly advocated for freedom of choice on vaccines and masks, even with the recent rise in case counts and hospitalizations.
(Production: Pavithra George)